Mild, melancholy, and sedate, he stands, Tending another's flock upon the fields, His father's once, where now the White Man builds His home, and issues forth his proud commands. His dark eye flashes not; his listless hands Lean on the shepherd's staff; no more he wields The Libyan bow -- but to th' oppressor yields Submissively his freedom and his lands. Has he no courage? Once he had -- but, lo! Harsh Servitude hath worn him to the bone. No enterprise? Alas! the brand, the blow, Have humbled him to dust -- even hope is gone! "He's a base-hearted hound -- not worth his food" -- His Master cries -- "he has no gratitude!" - Thomas Pringle, 'The Hottentot'.
A wonderfully stated argument--and I agree. Thanks. :-) Interesting note: Some names of birds *have* actually been changed because of their negative connotations. "Oldsquaw," for example, became "Long-Tailed Duck" not too long ago, in part because of concerns that the former name might offend Native Americans involved in conservation efforts. The AOU, the U.S. organization charged with creating standard classifications, said that this consideration alone wasn't the reason for the name change, but it certainly played a part.
I definitely think you should leave it in the list. The context is *exactly* what prompted me to keep looking, and hence, to keep learning! What better way to dilute the negative association than to educate?
Besides, the world is already full of contradiction. This word is a lovely reminder to 1) seek out what is beautiful, and 2) remember what we (as humans) have done, so as not to repeat what ought not be repeated.
Yes, it does, unfortunately. I hesitated adding this for that reason, but since it's on my list of bird adjectives, I figured the association would be relatively clear. (On the other hand, if it took you a while to make the connection...Hmm....)